<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; url=/nojavascript/"> Introduction to Groundwater | CK-12 Foundation
Dismiss
Skip Navigation
You are reading an older version of this FlexBook® textbook: CK-12 Earth Science Concepts For High School Go to the latest version.

8.8: Introduction to Groundwater

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
%
Best Score
Practice Introduction to Groundwater
Practice
Best Score
%
Practice Now

Is there always water flowing beneath the land surface?

Although this may seem surprising, water beneath the ground is commonplace, moving slowly and silently through an aquifer and then bubbling to the surface at a spring. Groundwater is an extremely important source of water in many parts of the world where development and agricvulture outmatch the amount of water available from rainfall and streams.

Aquifer

Groundwater resides in aquifers , porous rock and sediment with water in between. Water is attracted to the soil particles, and capillary action , which describes how water moves through porous media, moves water from wet soil to dry areas.

Aquifers are found at different depths. Some are just below the surface and some are found much deeper below the land surface. A region may have more than one aquifer beneath it and even most deserts are above aquifers. The source region for an aquifer beneath a desert is likely to be far away, perhaps in a mountainous area.

Recharge

The amount of water that is available to enter groundwater in a region, called recharge , is influenced by the local climate, the slope of the land, the type of rock found at the surface, the vegetation cover, land use in the area, and water retention, which is the amount of water that remains in the ground. More water goes into the ground where there is a lot of rain, flat land, porous rock, exposed soil, and where water is not already filling the soil and rock.

Fossil Water

The residence time of water in a groundwater aquifer can be from minutes to thousands of years. Groundwater is often called “fossil water” because it has remained in the ground for so long, often since the end of the ice ages.

Vocabulary

  • aquifer : A layer of rock, sand, or gravel that holds large amounts of ground water.
  • capillary action : Water moves from wet to dry regions in soil.
  • recharge : Water that moves down from the surface into the groundwater.

Summary

  • Groundwater is in aquifers, a porous and permeable rock layer.
  • Groundwater recharges in wet regions.
  • Much groundwater is from the end of the ice ages, so it is called fossil water.

Practice

Use this resource to answer the questions that follow.

http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/diagrams/groundwater/index.html

1. What is groundwater?

2. How does groundwater begin?

3. What is the water table?

4. What is an aquifer?

5. What is the cone of depression? How is it created?

Review

1. What effects the residence time of groundwater in a region?

2. Where does groundwater come from in a region that has very little rainfall?

3. If groundwater is used, how will there be more?

Image Attributions

Description

Difficulty Level:

At Grade

Grades:

Date Created:

Feb 24, 2012

Last Modified:

Aug 25, 2014
Files can only be attached to the latest version of Modality

Reviews

Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original
 
SCI.ESC.531.L.1

Original text